So there was a tweet on Google’s blog on the 24th of March 2012 announcing that a Panda update (3.4) is going on which is likely to affect roughly 1.6% of queries. Now that’s not a panda data refresh only but an algorithm change as well.

If you’ve been following the Panda update closely, you will have noticed that in February when the update was run, Google said that it was a mere data refresh. This means that nothing in respect to how the algorithm works has changed. They were only feeding into the process new data that they’ve crawled. So for those who have made changes to their site and removed low quality content, they would probably notice a difference.

But this time, along with a data refresh, there has been some changes/refinement to the algorithm which means that new signals are being taken into account and this is likely to affect how the panda penalty is given. I’m sure the new signals have something to do with backlinks quality as in an earlier blogpost, Google mentioned that they were retiring an old link analysis and scoring system that they’ve used for years now and were going to assess the quality of links in a different way.

This means that cheap link building services done on a large scale will not have any benefit in my opinion and can get your website penalised instead. Authority will play a more important role in the SEO field and it will become even more difficult to game the system.

If you haven’t diversified your traffic sources yet, it is high time you start thinking about it because relying on Google or any search engines for traffic is a risky business model because you’ll be at the whims of their algorithm changes all the time.


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